Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram told the Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors, who submitted their final report to him on Wednesday, that he would carry forward the process they had initiated.
“The Home Minister told us that he would carry forward the process which was initiated by us. All stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir and in the country should come together to ensure that peace, stability and prosperity prevail in Jammu and Kashmir,” eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar told journalists after submitting the report.
The prime focus of the report was the “welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr. Padgaonkar stressed.
Replying to a question on the separatists' refusal to meet the panel of interlocutors, he said the report was not affected by their boycott, as it included all stated public positions of political parties and other groups.
Asked whether the report made any recommendation on the withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which ordinary Kashmiris say provides impunity to soldiers involved in human rights abuses, Mr. Padgaonkar said people in the State had expressed their views on that law and the Disturbed Areas Act, and the report reflected them.
It is learnt that the report has steered clear of the contentious issues of ‘azadi,' self-rule and autonomy. It has also dealt with human rights violations and has a section on social issues and cultural diversity in all the three regions — Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. According to well-placed sources, the report has also touched upon problems facing the youth and students in the State and the need for promotion of economic opportunities in the State, including ties across the Line of Control with the Pakistan-administered Kashmir.